C&L, Features, Safety

The increasing importance of cameras on cranes

The crane sector is steadily embracing the safety benefits and productivity gains digital camera systems offer. Cranes and Lifting finds out more from Jon Koval from Robway Systems.

The crane sector is steadily embracing the safety benefits and productivity gains digital camera systems offer. Cranes and Lifting finds out more from Jon Koval from Robway Systems.

Cameras on cranes add a measure of safety to the job site. They can increase productivity and speed whilst decreasing the number of accidents and property damaging incidents. For construction workers on the ground, cameras provide a degree of assurance that everything is under control with every lift of the crane. Jon Koval, General Manager, Robway Systems highlights the various types of crane camera technology and their relevance to different applications.

Crane safety requirements come from many sources including national workplace safety organisations, industry association design and safe use standards, codes of practice, and industry best practice. The responsibility for ensuring compliance doesn’t rest with any single individual; responsible parties can range from a worker on the job site to company directors and owners.

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When hazard identification and risk mitigation are assessed, reversing cameras are typically considered. However, other failure modes may not be detected by standard safety equipment installed on a crane.  Some of the following failure modes could be detected with a camera monitoring system installed on the crane.

Failure of luffing ropes and hoist ropes;

Personnel struck by loads;

Fixed and mobile plants struck by loads;

Reversing hazards;

Personnel struck by cab/counterweights during slewing;

In each of these cases a video monitoring system could be an effective prevention measure.

Winch Camera

Layering of winch ropes is critical to safe use of the crane by preventing damage to luff and hoist ropes.  In some cases, a single wide-viewing-angle winch camera can be used to view multiple winches. If this is not possible, a single camera can be positioned above each winch. Cameras can also be positioned at the boom tip for monitoring the head sheaves.


Attaching and detaching the load is a simple task with a camera system. A load camera provides a view of the load and the surrounding construction site. Due to the power of the camera lens, the image remains sharp when zooming and even during extreme weather conditions.

Hoisting the load over a building can be a difficult task without a camera. Being able to observe a load continually during a lift is invaluable to the operator, especially in cases where the operator does not have a direct line of sight to the load throughout the lift. If the operator can identify a hazard a fraction of a second before being notified by a rigger, it can make the difference between hazard avoidance or serious injury or worse. An auto-focus zoom camera allows the operator to observe the load in great detail particularly in tower crane applications.

A 7-inch monitor is ideal for one or two cameras. For multiple cameras, a 12-inch monitor may be used to show up to five camera images formatted on one screen.  It is also possible to configure multiple screens enabling the operator to select a specific angle or view of the operation being performed.


RadarEye is an integrated, active view system designed to detect and see objects in zones obscured from the operator’s view. The RadarEye system detects stationary as well as moving objects in a designated coverage area offering additional safety and efficiency. With the RadarEye  system the operator is actively warned with audible tones that increase in rate as objects come closer. A detected object is highlighted on the monitor enabling the operator to respond, preventing damage to the crane and other equipment as well as injury to personnel.

The SRD sensors rugged in design and feature shockproof and waterproof casing which are not affected by adverse weather condition like snow, rain, mud and or temperature changes. RadarEye is capable of visualising the radar-zones on the display so as soon as a person enters the zone it activates a transparent visualisation (standard/custom preset settings) to ensure the driver is aware of the potential danger.

In addition to RadarEye, cameras can be used to provide a 360 degree view of the perimeter of a crane.

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